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Market socialism: Problems and models

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Chapter Summary

This chapter briefly refers to the historical experiences that can be categorised under the rubric of 'market socialism'. It then focuses on a few models, which gives an idea of the problems that arise and of attempted solutions to them. The chapter summarises some of the main problems, and main defects, experienced by state socialism, setting aside the diversity of the countries and historical circumstances. The first problem is the allocation of capital. A second problem concerns the motivation of agents. The third problem involves entrepreneurial spirit and the active pursuit of innovation. The fourth problem is that of planning. Socialisms of the self-management variety represent a much more profound break with the capitalist system, for two basic reasons: they no longer aim at capital profitability and they are based on industrial democracy. Self-management models offer a solution to some of the problems encountered by models of state socialism.

Keywords: capitalism; market socialism; self-management models



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